Published in late August, the story featured Debby Rose, a Springfield woman who "rescues and cares" for wild animals. Including Richard, a bonnet macaque. From the story:
Her near-constant companion for two years, Richard accompanies Debby to work, shops and even restaurants.Well, she said it was a service animal. But now the health department apparently disagrees.
Aware that there might be questions about Richard's outings, she met with Springfield-Greene County Health Department officials.
They have received calls, says Jim Fry, coordinator of environmental health services for the department. The state does not require certification for service animals, he explains, and the Americans with Disabilities Act recognizes numerous animals help those with mental and physical disabilities.
"If she says it's a service animal, you have to allow it in or run the risk of violating the ADA regulations," he says.
In a memo sent to restaurants after the News-Leader story was published, Ron Lawson of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department wrote:
Due to numerous complaints and recent discussions of the definition of service animals with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, this Department has made the decision not to allow Ms. Debby Rose to enter a Food Establishment with her monkey. According to the U.S. Department of Justice definition of service animals, such an animal must be able to perform a specific task for people with disabilities. It has become apparent that this monkey does not qualify as a service animal.
Please be advised that should Ms. Rose be allowed to enter your Food Establishment with her monkey, you will be in violation of the 1999 Missouri Food Code Section 6-501.115 which is a critical violation.